How to Tile a Bathroom Walls as well as Shower/Tub Area

8 min read

Licensed specialist Amy Matthews shows how to set up floor tiles in a bathroom shower area and the wall surfaces to transform a weary old bathroom into a traditional Art Deco retreat.

Step 1

Plan Project and Select Tiles

Plan Project and also Select Tiles

In our task, we brought an old ’70s bathroom into timeless Art Deco design. We removed a wall where an old single vanity utilized to be in favor of a dual vanity. To obtain the pipes all set for the new vanity, a vented T was included and also the drain prolonged.

Given that the backerboard is currently set up around the bathtub, the tile prepares to be set up. In our job, the homeowner consulted with a tile specialist for design guidance as well as was thrilled by handmade 3×6″ subway tile. Compared with mechanical or industrial tile which are reduced valued, hand-made floor tiles include even more merging of the glazes at the side and appear even more distinctive.

In our task, the house owners decided to go with machine-made metro tile (regarding $2 to $4 each square foot) versus handmade tile (approximately $13 to $30 each square foot). Machine-made tile is simple to install on your own since the tile is beveled out. Because of this, you don’t have to use tile spacers. Both the subway tile and accent ceramic tiles we made use of are self-spacing this way so they do not call for spacers. These floor tiles have a small lip that produces a consistent void in between the floor tiles, forming perfectly spaced cement joints.

Note: Finishing choices consist of top caps, called listellos. And also using accent tile in between the leading cap as well as field tile. Area ceramic tiles are those in the main area of a floor or wall surface as well as they’re level in comparison to cut tiles which are formed. Boundary tiles surround around area tiles while accent tiles are used to include interest, normally intermixed with area tiles.

Prior to you begin to mount the tile. Find out the layout of your tile scheme after measuring all locations to be tiled in addition to the tiles. Make a representation of each wall surface to help you decide placement of floor tiles. Prior to you lay the field tile, figure out where the accent as well as border ceramic tiles will go.

In our job, we utilized white train ceramic tiles in the area areas and green glass tile as an accent border for the shower area and also wall surfaces.

Black accent ceramic tiles were intermixed in the flooring area ceramic tiles.

Step 2

Prep the Shower Area for Tile Layout

Preparation the Shower Area for Tile Layout

To start tiling, prepare by running a bead of silicone caulk around the border of the area you are tiling to seal it. Make use of the rear of a plastic spoon to smooth the caulk.

Make use of a wet saw with a diamond blade to cut all the floor tiles. In our task, we cut two chair-rail tiles at a 45-degree angle to develop a picture framework edge to border the shower. Turning the saw base to 45 degrees offers the perfect cut.

Keep in mind: Diamond blades provide a specialist cut because they permit even more precision versus a score as well as snap tile cutter.

Utilize a 360-degree laser level to mark a line for laying the ceramic tiles.

With a 3/16″ V-notched trowel, spread mastic simply under the laser line and also down the side of the bathtub wall to a little location.

As soon as you prepare to lay the tile, begin at the edge, with the chair rail border.

Step 3

Set the Tile Rail

Set the Tile Rail

Beginning in the corner and also make a miter cut at a 45-degree angle, or else it will certainly be as well brief.

Make a collection of recommendation marks for the leading and lower tiles, by doing this you will understand the amount of ceramic tiles to put on the wall surface. Set the damp saw table to 45-degrees making miter cuts.

Utilize a 3/16″ v-notched trowel to use the mastic adhesive to the wall surface. Usage mastic sticky as opposed to thinset due to the fact that the mastic produces a solid instant bond so the tiles will not slip down the wall surface once they are in area.

You can see why the laser line is so handy, a pencil mark would be covered by the mastic.

Tip 4

Apply the Field and Accent Tiles

Apply the Field and also Accent Tiles

As soon as you establish the amount of inches from the floor to place the border tile, make use of the laser degree to continue to mark around the space. Mark the laser line to make sure that once you begin to establish the field tiles you will know when you’re prepared for the accent floor tiles.

To lay out the tile, surprise the joints to ensure that you have a classic block style. You don’t intend to establish the tile flush with the wall due to the fact that you will wind up with slivers or little pieces of tiles at the edges.

Move the tile in from the corner and also if you have an uneven piece, divided the difference as well as cap the edges with tiny items you reduced to dimension. This will give you a nice, clean line throughout the entire wall. For the 2nd row, reduced another tile so you could proceed the staggered joint and after that complete the remainder.

To establish the tile, apply an even coat of mastic on just a little portion of the wall at once. You have around 5 to 10 minutes to establish the tile, so don’t apply too much adhesive over a large area. Again, apply the tile with a minor twisting movement.

The accent ceramic tiles take place similarly.

Enable a minimum of 24 hrs for the adhesive to dry prior to grouting. To get ready for applying the grout, tape to protect any kind of surrounding walls or wallpaper.

The best ways to Install Tile in a Bathroom Shower


Prep the Shower Space

Prep the Shower Space

Once demolition of the old tile is full, set up a cement backer board in the shower area.

Have a specialist set up a shower membrane and also shower pan proper for the space. In our job, the shower pan is put concrete.


Measure And Dry Lay Tiles for Shower Wall

Action And Dry Lay Tiles for Shower Wall

In our task, we used Crema Marfil, an Italian tumbled marble tile. The floor tiles are available in different sizes, pre-spaced on floor coverings. On the ceiling and floor of the shower, we used 2″ x 2″ floor tiles and also on shower walls, 2″ x 4″ tiles.

Conserve time by setting a number of floor tiles simultaneously. Before you start setting tile, take some measurements and also see how the floor tiles will certainly all lay out.

In our project, we set the tile for the wall opposite the shower door. Procedure the top and base of the shower wall surface (ours is 82 inches long) to earn certain it is straight and also does not slant in or out. Tip: intend your design layout in “panels,” increments of three straight rows of tile.

Next off, dry lay the tile panels. Including any type of ornamental boundaries, to see the way it’s mosting likely to establish up and down on the wall surface. This permits you to see how many panels could fit, where you should make cuts and where you ought to start setting.

In our task, the back wall is a regular 48-1/2″ throughout and also we used a decorative 3-inch mosaic boundary between the second and also third panels from the top of the shower.

To get an accurate measurement, space out exactly how you will set the panels. After completely dry laying, determine the best location to start establishing tiles working from the bottom up.


Set Tiles on Shower Wall

Establish Tiles on Shower Wall

Use a starter board as a straight side whenever you do an upright tile installation to make certain panels enter straight and also leve.

Screw the starter board straight right into the concrete board as well as remove it after completing a series of panels. In our job, we set up the board on the shower wall surface at 72-1/2″ from the top. Make certain the board is degree prior to beginning to set panels along this edge.

To prevent the floor tiles from sliding down after they’re established, utilize non-sagging thinset mortar.

Make use of a notched trowel to spread the thinset which creates a suction to hold the stone in place as the mortar dries. Place the panel onto the thinset making use of the starter as a guide. Utilize a degree making sure floor tiles are right. When in place, push the tiles equally into the thinset. Utilize your hands or a cement float to apply stress.

Wipe the tiles with water and a tidy sponge as you establish them. Check the degree of each row before you set the next one.

Use spacers to hold ceramic tiles in place while they dry.

If a tile is broken, draw it off the concrete board and also change it with one that is undamaged. Place the tile up in phases, a section each time, so the thinset does not dry.


Establish Tiles on Shower Side Walls

Action the size of the shower walls on either side of the door. Dry lay the panels and also gauge them to see where you have to make cuts. In our task, one wall is 31 inches as well as the various other is 36 inches.

Establish the tile panels on the side wall surfaces with thinset. Similarly as for the back wall surface, making use of the starter board. Clean the ceramic tiles with a sponge and also water as you work. At the corner where there are spaces, fill in the rooms with cut floor tiles.


Cut the Tiles

Cut the Tiles

As soon as you complete establishing the panels, make cuts for the sides of the wall surfaces. Make use of a damp saw to avoid tile from damaging or splitting.

Mark the ceramic tiles with a pencil where cuts are needed. Hold the piece firmly in position and also delicately slide it under the wet saw blade.


Setting the Cut Pieces

Cut pieces will have a straight side that will certainly clash with the tumbled marble appearance of the floor tiles when established versus the revealed edge of the shower wall. Use a sanding stone to soften the edge, providing a tumbled appearance.

Establish these cut items individually along the side using thinset. Making certain the pieces exist up straight with the outdoors edge.


Setting the Mosaic Border

Setting the Mosaic Border

In our job, we set an attractive 3-inch mosaic border on top of the shower wall surfaces between the second as well as third panel from the top. Since the boundary tiles are thicker compared to the other ceramic tiles, use a thinner layer of thinset.


Complete the Shower Walls

Complete the Shower Walls

Complete setting the floor tiles on all sides of the shower with thinset.

If you locate that you’ve used too much thinset as well as it comes via the joints, take a screwdriver and scratch the excess thinset out. When the added thinset dries, you will certainly have a hard time removing it and probably it will not match the color of the grout.


Complete the Shower Floor

Total the Shower Floor

Following finish establishing the shower floor with thinset. The shower floors are tiled with 2″ x 2″ tiles.

Setting the floor tiles coincides as the walls: apply thinset on the floor. Slide floor tiles into area and also pat them down with the rubber cement float. If the floor has actually been poured completely, you don’t have to bother with the pitch because all that job has actually been done currently.

Important: Set the flooring ceramic tiles last to stay clear of tipping on it while you tile the walls.

For the angled floor tiles around the drain. You will have to utilize a special device to get the ideal form. Mark the tile where you need to cut it. Utilize a tile nipper as well as try the mark.

When you can not trowel the thinset straight externally, back butter the tiles independently with the scratched trowel.


Grout the Shower Walls

Cement the Shower Walls

When the tile has actually set, mix the grout for the shower wall surfaces. Utilize a mix of 75 percent sanded cement and also 25 percent non-sanded grout. Sanded cement is difficult to obtain into little joints so adding non-sanded cement aids slim it out so it could be used much more quickly and also aids application on walls.

Cement comes in numerous shades so use one that best matches your tiles. In our job, we utilized a cornsilk-colored grout, the same color used on the floor, in a thick oatmeal-like consistency.

Utilize a rubber float to apply the grout. Beginning at the bottom and function your method up, keeping the float at an angle to the joints.

When all the joints in an area are filled up, let it dry out a little, after that wipe the grout off the surface with a sponge and clean water.

When the ceramic tiles have actually been tidied up, permit them to establish and also completely dry.

In our project, the homeowners chose to go with machine-made train tile (concerning $2 to $4 each square foot) versus hand-made tile (around $13 to $30 per square foot). These floor tiles have a tiny lip that develops an uniform gap in between the tiles, creating flawlessly spaced grout joints.

Field tiles are those in the primary field of a flooring or wall surface and they’re flat in comparison to trim tiles which are formed. Border ceramic tiles border around area ceramic tiles while accent tiles are made use of to include interest. Normally intermixed with area tiles.

Before you begin to mount the tile. Figure out the format of your tile system after determining all locations to be tiled as well as the floor tiles.